Category: movie

finally saw it: hunger games: mockingjay

I read the Hunger Games books before the first movie came out and loved them. The third book was my least favourite though so I think that’s why it took me so long to see it, also Christmas and I hate going when it’s super busy. (And yes, if you’re keeping track, I’ve seen 4 movies since Christmas).

Because I read the books years ago, I went in forgetting a lot of the details of the story, which is almost more fun than having just read it. Jennifer Lawrence was great again as were all the supporting characters. One of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last films before he died, it was nice but sad to see him in it. I also didn’t realize Julianne Moore was in it, and I absolutely love her. I thought, like with the other films, that the movie stayed pretty true to the book (what I remember of course) and am curious to see what waits in the final movie at the end of this year.

Have you seen Mockingjay Part 1, what did you think?

amazing film: the theory of everything

Last weekend, on a snowy Saturday evening, I went to see The Theory of Everything. I saw the previews a while ago and knew I really wanted to see this movie.

If you’re not familiar, this movie is the biography of Stephen Hawkings, beginning when he is in university and about a decade following. It is in university that he is diagnosed with ALS and told that he only has a couple of years to live. I expected this movie to be very sad, as it is about a many battling a very devastating illness but the story is actually quite inspiring about how anything can be accomplished. If the actor who played Stephen Hawkings doesn’t win the oscar, I will be very surprised. He did an amazing job but emotionally and psychically, it must have been extremely difficult to play a man who moves into paralysis. I would highly recommend this movie, despite the joke from the Golden Globes that it’s a movie about “illness and hard math”, it’s really well done.

Have you seen “The Theory of Everything”? What did you think?

review: the gambler

I saw “The Gambler” this weekend starring Mark Walberg. I didn’t really have an interest in seeing the movie but there wasn’t much else I wanted to see (I do not care for the Hobbit stories). I do enjoy Mark Walberg and figured it could be pretty good.

The first 20-30 minutes of the movie were pretty slow. It was setting up the story line but I thought if it continued like this for the whole two hours, it was really going to be a long two hours. The story did start to pick up a bit, without giving too much away, the movie takes place over a week that a gambler is trying to catch up on debts and stay alive. I was really excited by some of the other cast members, like Michael Kenneth Williams from The Wire, Dean Norris from Breaking Bad and of course John Goodman.

“The Gambler” wasn’t quite a bad movie but it wasn’t a great movie. I don’t think it’s the type of movie you’d have to see in the theatres. There wasn’t crazy graphics or special effects that needed the big screen but since I had no plans for the day, it was a perfectly fine movie for a chilly Sunday afternoon.

Have you seen “The Gambler”? What did you think?

my christmas movie: night at the museum 3

My mom and I have a fun Christmas tradition that basically started as a joke (as many things do with us). We decided Christmas afternoon since it was just the two of us, we’d head out for Chinese food and a movie, several years later, we keep up the tradition. In recent years, the Mandarin has actually been busy, we thought last year was only because of the ice storm but this year the Durham Mandarins were packed, we know to make reservations for next year.

My rules for Christmas movies we see is they have to be light-hearted. I don’t want to see something sad, or scary on Christmas. I just want to have a good laugh and see a fun movie. We were struggling to find a movie that fit the bill this year and then we found Night at the Museum 3. I loved the first two, I may have seen the second one in IMAX… on opening weekend… Oh… and I may have gone to the Natural History Museum in New York to see the exhibits (spolier alert: they aren’t really like the movie). I had actually forgotten that they made a third movie, I remember people talking about it when Robin Williams died but it didn’t feel like it was heavily promoted, unlike some other movies that came out around Christmas.

Sometimes, once you get to the third movie in a series the story line is really thin. I thought the story was great (you know, for a kids movie about museum creatures coming to life). This story introduces a few new characters like Rebel Wilson as a British security guard and another museum exhibit played by Ben Stiller. It was sad to watch the movie with Robin Williams, it was his final live-action movie he appeared in before his death. The movie was also dedicated to Mickey Rooney who died this past year and it was his final movie as well. Robin Williams was in the entire movie, it didn’t need to be edited because of his death but a spin-off had to be cancelled because it featured Roosevelt. It was an excellent movie, particularly if you’re looking for something the whole family can enjoy. It was my perfect Christmas movie.

Have you seen “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”?

review: st. vincent

This weekend, after growing tired of shopping, my mom and I decided to go to the movies. We both really like Melissa McCarthy, so decided to see St. Vincent and we weren’t disappointed. As usual, I won’t give any spoilers away but want to share this movie with you.

The movie stars Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray with great supporting actors. Naomi Watts is basically unrecognizable but hilarious and endearing as the stripper with the heart of gold. Chris O’Dowd is adorable again in this film, just like in bridesmaids. The stars in the film are great and the new child actor Jaeden Lieberher is fantastic. This film is a roller coaster of emotion, it’s funny, it’s sad, it’s heartwarming, it’s everything you could want from a movie. I really enjoyed this movie, it may not be a movie that you need to see in theatres because it’s not high on action but it’s definitely a movie worth seeing.

Have you seen St. Vincent? What did you think?

gone girl: the movie

After months of anticipation, Gone Girl was released today. I read the book a few months ago for a book club and really enjoyed it, it was definitely my favourite fiction I read this year.

I will keep this review spoiler-free because spoilers are terrible. It had been a few months since I read the book, but I don’t mind having the time to forget some of the details. My friend I went with reread it within the last couple weeks so he picked up some of the missing parts a little faster than I did. Having said that, they didn’t take much out of the movie, and the things they did take out, I didn’t really miss. Keeping it spoiler-free, Gone Girl is a story about a missing woman and her husband.

The cast was amazing, Ben Affleck did a great job of playing Nick Dunne (and didn’t look too bad doing it either), Rosamund Pike, someone I didn’t recognize played Amy, and did a phenomenal job. The role is very complex and she played it well, you were able to believe her at every turn. The secondary characters were also well cast, I was unsure of Tyler Perry being in anything besides a Tyler Perry movie and he played his role excellently. There wasn’t a casting choice that I didn’t like.

The movie is a little long (usually I start to get restless around 2 hours) but all the scenes were necessary and it didn’t feel really long. I would recommend this movie to anyone who read the book, because Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay, the movie stays true to the narrative of the book. I think people who have not read Gone Girl will still enjoy the movie, it’s a great thriller, I would suggest if you haven’t read the book, don’t read too much about the movie beforehand and enjoy it as it unfolds. I’m also curious to see what someone who didn’t read the book thinks of the movie.

Have you seen or read Gone Girl? What did you think?

kickstarter: sinkers

sinkers kickstarter

One of the best things to happen because of the internet is crowdsourcing. It’s great for the projects because it’s a way to get funding for a great idea, that may otherwise be impossible to get. For the supporters, they know they played a part in the development of a product, a show or a movie.

One of the projects I’ve chosen to support is a film by local writer/director Ian Pozzebon called “Sinkers“. The film is about a comedy two wannabe wise-guys who set their sights on taking the next steps in their criminal careers. The funds from this project will be used to for every aspect of the film including cameras, lighting, sound, location fees, props and wardrobe. The writer has spent the last five years perfecting the script and with the support of kickstarter backers, the film will become a reality. The film also has a lot to offer its backers (depending on their level of support) from tickets to the screening, swag and even a chance to visit the set as a thank you.

 

sinkers kickstarter

 

 

 

I think it’s pretty remarkable that we can be a part of the local art scene in such an easy way. The project’s funding window ends on May 25th, so visit “Sinkers” on kickstarter to support the project and share it on social media to great this great short film made.

happy anniversary!

Today is a very special anniversary. One that makes me reflect on my life, wonder where time has gone and feel very nostalgic. Today of course, is the tenth anniversary of Mean Girls.

I was in grade ten when the movie came out, right smack in the middle of my four years of high school. One of my good friend’s (still one of my good friend’s) and I decided we were going to see this movie. We were known for doing really random things, seeing strange movies, going to weird events so this seemed right up our alley. We actually thought Mean Girls was going to more of a kids movie so we didn’t tell anyone in our class we were going. That didn’t matter since our entire French class was there anyways. We all wanted to see the movie, but none of us wanted to admit it. We didn’t really know most of the people in it at the time, except for Lindsay Lohan so we were all expecting a Freaky Friday type movie (great movie by the way).

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Well, we watched it and we fell in love. The movie was so accurate, so clever and so funny it was hard not to fall in love with it. Not to mention, the movie is perfectly quotable. Like so many movies that did well at the time (think Anchorman, Napolean Dynamite or Borat), they all did so well because the scenes became part of your vocabulary. With Borat, I knew most of the lines before even seeing the movie. This was a time when the internet was very real but it was “pre-Facebook” (not technically, but before everyone had it), before Twitter and memes were everywhere, these quotes were our version of memes and to be honest, I still occasionally quote the movie and could probably recite it from beginning to end if I really tried. In fact, by grade twelve, we were quoting the movie so hard my friends and I used Mean Girl quotes as our grad quotes in the yearbook. If that doesn’t say something about the movie, I don’t know what could.

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I couldn’t even count the number of times I’ve seen it and I’ll probably watch it again in the future. In fact, I had a girls night in and we watched the movie and some of the scenes still made us laugh out loud. I had read earlier in the year that this was the tenth anniversary, and lately have been seeing a lot of buzzfeed quizzes, memes and tweets about the anniversary so I’m glad I’m not the only one excited by it. What about you? Did Mean Girls play any role in your life?

cosimo tucci: just talking

It is unbelievable the amount of talent that is in this city, but being talented isn’t always enough. It’s not easy to make it performing (here or in any city) but Cosimo Tucci isn’t letting that stop him. And he’s bringing us along for the ride.

Cosimo Tucci is a comedian and film maker with the dream of having his own live special at a comedy club. He knows that you have to be responsible for your own dreams and after a successfully funded kickstarter, he is making a comedy documentary called “Just Talking”, about his journey to take matters into his own hands. His dream was to headline a show in a comedy club and this Thursday, that dream is becoming a reality.

Performing at Second City in Toronto, the show will feature Garrett Jamieson, Lwam Ghebrehariat and of course, Cosimo Tucci and will be included in the film. Once the documentary is complete, the team hopes to submit the film to TIFF for 2014. So, this Thursday is your opportunity to not only see great comedy, but also see a film in the making. The show starts at 10:30pm and is only $5.

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review: the wolf of wall street

So I just got back from seeing one of the longest movies I’ve watched in a while. I can also cross a movie off my list!

I really enjoyed the film despite the length. I’ve heard people say that it doesn’t feel like 3 hours, but I wouldn’t go that far. Sometimes I see a film that I think is too long and I think of scenes that I would cut out but I think I enjoyed all of the scenes so it would be hard to cut any of them out. People also talked about the amount of swearing, I didn’t think it was ‘too’ much. It actually seemed very realistic for the theme of the movie. I expect that people who work on wall street actually talk like that. The movie is related 18A in Canada and there isn’t a lot of violence in it but there is a lot of swearing, drugs and sex.

I was surprised at how funny I found the movie. I know that it was considered a comedy during the  golden globes but it still surprised me. I along with the majority of the people in the theatre were laughing out loud. I thought the writing was really great and the performances were well done. I haven’t seen the other nominated movies but will be surprised if it wins a lot of oscars, but that’s really just based on my perception of the other films.

Have you seen the wolf of wall street? What did you think?